x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Motorist insists he did not mean to hit policeman

Palestinian said he panicked over bounced cheques and drove away from checkpoint.

DUBAI // A Palestinian man convicted of hitting a policeman on his motorbike with his car as he sped away from a police checkpointpleaded for mercy in court today, insisting he had panicked and not tried to hit the officer.

Court records show that FO, 47, was stopped at a police check point on August 7 last year. He presented his licence and registration, but then suddenly drove off at speed.

FO told the Dubai Court of Misdemeanour Appeals that he had not intended to flee. "I knew I had police complaints filed against me, your honour, for several cheques," he told the Dubai Court of Misdemeanour Appeals. "So when I was stopped by the checkpoint I realised I would be going to jail."

"I saw jail bars ahead and panicked and drove off," he added.

Another officer gave chase on a motorcycle, and during the chase FO swerved off the road, hitting the officer and damaging the motorbike, prosecutors say.

FO, however, denies he hit anyone. "They were behind me, yes, but I did not swerve on them or try to hit their bikes."

He was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, endangering his life and damaging public property on March 29, and sentenced to a month in jail. The Appeal Court will rule on July 27.